Gordo Banks Pangas
San Jose del Cabo
May 29, 2011
There was a noticeable increase in crowds of tourists this past week, as southern swells attracted surfers and warming ocean currents brought in sought after gamefish, giving anglers a wide variety of options to choose from. The large swell has resided from last week’s peak, but lingering waves are still providing fun sport. Water temperatures are now up into the 80 degree range, clarity has fluctuated, blue water shifting closer and further from day to day, conditions are steadily stabilizing and anglers are anticipating wide open action on the horizon
The swell activity last week had a negative impact on the fishing action, scattered inshore bait schools and pushed in off colored currents, but now this cycle has reversed, as schools of mullet and other baitfish are appearing in greater numbers close to shore, this has attracted larger sized roosterfish, jack crevalle, sierra, pompano, dogtooth snapper, grouper and amberjack. In recent days there was one roosterfish weighed in at 84 pounds, landed from a 22 ft. panga out of La Playita, it was hooked into off of the La Laguna area. Many jack crevalle in the 20 pound plus range were seen chasing bait schools and dogtooth snapper are starting to move into the shallow rocky reefs, looking to ambush their prey. Remember to bring your heavy tackle if interested in targeting and actually landing one of these king of the snapper species, they average about 30 pounds and can reach 80 pounds or more. These same areas can also produce grouper, amberjack and pompano during late spring. Slow trolling with larger sized live baits seems to be the most productive technique for this style of inshore world class action. Surf anglers have had reports of catching roosterfish, pargo, sierra, yellowtail, jack crevalle and even at least one snook was reportedly landed off of the San Jose Estuary area, this action should begin to peak in the coming weeks.
Warming waters have brought in more exotic species, such as dorado and wahoo, still no significant numbers, but daily these fish are being found, trolling lures and drift fishing with baits both produced action. A few wahoo were taken on rapalas, others on sardinas and yo-yo’s, many lines were cut.. Wahoo were weighing 30 to 50 pounds. Most of the dorado now being encountered were quality sized, in the 15 to 30 pound class, a few larger bulls mixed in. Exciting to see these fish in local waters, it has been a while, should be here to stay through the fall, as days will only become progressively warmer.
Striped marlin were being found in big numbers, anywhere from 2 to 15 miles from shore, hot spot in recent days has been off of San Jose del Cabo, more often than not mid day has been best, these billfish are aggressively striking lures and readily taking dropped back baits, at other times they would act like they were not interested, apparently preferring to gorge on the available natural food supply. The majority of these stripers have been in the 80 to 120 pound range.
Yellowfin tuna has been a main target species, as fish ranging from 15 to 250 pounds have been found, schooling on the San Luis Bank and encountered associated with porpoise further offshore. There had not been any live sardinas available during last week’s high swell, but in recent days there has been a new source for anglers out of San Jose, as commercial pangeros are making the long round trip run to La Ribera and back to supply sardinas to local sport charters. This has been the bait of choice for drifting over the banks, besides the yellowfin tuna, there have been dorado, wahoo and an occasional billfish encounter.
Keith Maurer’s group from New Jersey was fishing on Monday with La Playita skipper Chame Pino when they first caught a 90 pound class tuna, which there were very pleased with and rightfully so. This proved to be just a warm up, the next fish they hooked into really tested their endurance, after a three hour marathon battle on stout sixty pound tackle they finally brought to gaff a monster cow sized yellowfin tuna of 250 pounds. This cow had hit on a live jack, which was being soaking underneath a large bait ball. Massive bait schools are now spread throughout the area and things are really shaping up to bust wide open. The fish are here now, a little finicky at times, no huge numbers, but quality is definitely there for the taking, would not be surprised to see the season’s first 300 pound super cow be brought in to the La Playita weigh stations in the near future. Most everyday now we have been seeing yellowfin to 80 or 100 pounds, other monsters have been hooked and lost. There are still more tuna of 15 to 30 pounds being hooked on the sardinas, while the best chance of hooking into a cow has been on larger live baits.
This nest week local residents are gearing up for the traditional national holiday of the “Dia de la Marina”. In La Playita they have always taken this fiesta seriously, celebrating with three days of activities, including all night dances, carnival rides, parades, horse races and of course plenty of cerveza (beer). There will be the annual dorado, wahoo, tuna tournament. Organizers have scheduled an off road race that will be circuited through La Playtita, then into the hills, before returning to finish in La Playita, should be exciting, to say the least, to witness Baja Trophy Trucks thundering through local roads.
The combined panga fleets launching from La Playita/Puerto Los Cabos sent out approximately 80 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of:
3 sailfish, 39 striped marlin, 57 dorado, 86 yellowfin tuna, 24 amberjack, 7 dogtooth snapper, 58 various pargo species,12 wahoo, 55 roosterfish,88 jack crevalle, 11 cabrilla, 9 pompano, 8 hammerhead shark and 18 sierra.
Good fishing, Eric
GORDO BANKS PANGAS
Los Cabos 1421147
FLY HOOKER SPORTFISHING
Captain George Landrum
Cabo Fish Report
May 23-29, 2011
WEATHER: We had sunny skies almost all week with nighttime lows in the low 70′s and daytime highs in the mid to high 90′s. Quite a bit of wind at the end of the week kept things from becoming too hot around here!
WATER: The water temperatures remained steady throughout our area this week with very little change. On the Cortez side of the Cape we saw 79-81 degrees while on the Pacific it was 62-65 degrees. Swells were smaller than last week with 2-4 feet on the Cortez side and 5-8 feet on the Pacific. There was some wind chop on top of that most afternoons but it did not get bad until late in the week. On the Pacific side the water got pretty rough in the afternoon Friday and Saturday but it was while on the down hill run if you fished that side. On Saturday the wind switched and we had it move from the northwest to the southwest, then east and it ended up coming from the north.
BAIT: Once again there was no change in the bait situation this week. A few decent Caballito but mostly junk bait at $3 each. Don’t buy the junk bait unless you are desperate. Sardines up at Palmilla at $25 a scoop. Frozen Ballyhoo at $3 or $4 each depending on the supplier.
BILLFISH: Striped Marlin, an occasional Blue Marlin, and occasional Sailfish and a few Swordfish were the billfish that appeared on the scene this week. Of course there were more Striped Marlin than any of the others, but the others were there. Most of the Marlin action took place at the 1150 and the San Jose Canyon. Best baits were rigged Ballyhoo trolled at 4 or 5 knots but Ballyhoo dropped back to fish raised on the lures worked well also. Best colors for lures seemed to be either very bright or very dark, in one case silver/white and the other green/black or a petrelero. A few Swordfish were seen and baited with one solid hook-up that I heard of. There were a few more Blue Marlin reported this week than last week but no large fish, most of them in the 200-250 pound class, almost every one of them came in on lures. The Sailfish were a bit farther to the north than the rest of the Billfish, up where the water was a bout a degree warmer, mostly in the area off of Punta Gorda.
YELLOWFIN TUNA: There have been football size fish size fish scattered just offshore all along the Cortez coastline, most of them found about 2 to 5 miles from the beach. Most of them have not been associated with dolphin, instead they have been blind strikes, but the schools have been staying with boats that have chummed them with sardinas after getting a blind strike. Offshore there have been some nice size fish to 60 pounds under the black porpoise, and a few larger fish as well, almost all of them biting on lures pulled for marlin. Not every boat has been able to get into the Tuna action but a few fish here and a few fish there has kept interest up.
DORADO: A few of these tasty fish have been found every day, most of them coming on lures. The best area has also been the Cortez side of the Cape in the warmer water. Areas close to the beach have generally held smaller fish to 12 pounds while the larger fish to 30 pounds have been found farther offshore. Not to say you can’t get nice ones inshore, there have been some decent catches made by the boats fishing Sardinas for Tuna.
WAHOO: New moon phase has kept the numbers of these speedsters down, but there have been a few caught this week. The warm water along Punta Gorda has been the best area to concentrate on.
INSHORE: A repeat of last week, the inshore fishery this week has been scattered as there have been some decent Yellowtail on the Pacific side for those who are willing to take the e-ticket ride to the fishing grounds, or going to the beach around the El-Tule area for some Sierra and small Roosterfish if the winds were not too strong.